Malcolm John Naden (born 5 November 1973) is an Australian former fugitive from the law. At the time of his capture and arrest in March 2012, Naden was reported as being one of Australia's most wanted men and his arrest attracted international media coverage, comparing Naden with famed outlaw Ned Kelly. Naden was in hiding from June 2005 until March 2012, wanted over murder and indecent assault offences. He was the most wanted man in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Naden was charged with the 2005 murder of a 24-year-old woman, aggravated indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl in 2004, and shooting with intent to murder a police officer in 2011, while he was on the run. Naden pleaded guilty to all 32 counts against him, and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years without parole in June 2013.
In June 2005, Naden disappeared from his grandparents' home in West Dubbo, days before 24-year-old Kristy Scholes, the partner of his cousin, was found strangled in a bedroom of the home. Prior to that incident, Naden was already named as a suspect in the disappearance of another of his cousins, Lateesha Nolan, who had been reported missing in January 2005.
In December 2005, police closed Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo after Naden was sighted there. There was an additional confirmed sighting of Naden over the next month near Lightning Ridge. In March 2006, Naden avoided capture at an Aboriginal mission, near Condobolin. In January 2007, police placed an A$50,000 bounty on his capture. By January 2009, Naden was thought to be located near Kempsey, and by August 2010 he was believed to be living in dense bushland near Gloucester and Scone. By early 2011, the police doubled Naden's bounty to A$100,000, and increased it further again to A$250,000 in December.
On 7 December 2011, a police officer from the Tactical Operations Unit was shot during an unsuccessful operation to capture Naden in bushland near Nowendoc. Naden was subsequently charged with the attempted murder of the officer.
Naden was captured on 22 March 2012 in a run-down cabin approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Gloucester by heavily armed officers from the Tactical Operations Unit in a night operation, and charged with the murder of Scholes. He faced court later that day and was refused bail.
On 14 April 2012, Naden was escorted from Goulburn Correctional Centre to Dubbo, where he assisted police by identifying a site at Butlers Falls, south of Dubbo. It is suspected that the remains of his cousin, Lateesha Nolan, are buried at that site, but no remains have been found. Naden was later charged with the murder of Nolan and 14 counts each of burglary and theft committed while on the run.
Naden pleaded guilty to all 32 counts against him, and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years without parole on 15 June 2013; Justice Derek Price said Naden had shown no remorse and there was a high risk he would reoffend because he has threatened to kill again, stating that "Life outside of prison is not an option for you". Naden said "thank you, your honour" after the sentence was handed down.
A dramatised version of the capture of Naden was aired on television on the Seven Network on 11 September 2013. This special television event, an episode of The Force: Behind the Line, presents the full story of “Strike Force Durkin", providing an insight into the fugitive that previously the viewers were not aware of. It re-aired on 13 September 2013.
- "Malcolm Naden Arrested in New South Wales: The Long Hunt For Australia's Most Wanted". International Business Times. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Pearlman, Jonathan (24 March 2012). "'Bad bush tucker man' Malcolm Naden captured after seven years". The Telegraph (United Kingdom). Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Harrison, Hope (22 March 2012). "Australia's most wanted Malcom Naden arrested". Oye! Times (Canada). Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Marsh, Vanessa (21 February 2011). "Fight to find Lateesha". Bundaberg News Mail. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- "Policeman shot in bushland manhunt". The Age (Australia). AAP. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Gardiner, Stephanie (22 March 2012). "Malcolm Naden timeline: nearly seven years on the run". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Cuneo, Clementine; Klein, Nathan (9 December 2011). "Massive search continues for accused double murderer Malcolm Naden". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Nowendoc shoot-out: manhunt for Naden". Wauchope Gazette. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Farrow, Lauren (22 March 2012). "Police capture fugitive Malcolm Naden". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Gridneff, Ilya (22 March 2012). a.m.: "Police capture Naden". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Van Den Broeke, Leigh (22 March 2012). "Fugitive Malcolm Naden captured by police in NSW". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Prisoner Malcolm Naden at site of search". The Australian. AAP. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Wells, Jamelle (15 June 2013). "Malcolm Naden jailed for life for brutal murders". ABC (Australia). Retrieved 14 April 2014.